Radiator Cleaning

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Smoky

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As I dig into the bowels of my new pusher I find things I never dreamed of.  Like a big sign above the radiator saying I must steam clean it once a quarter.  Blow compressed air through it.  And if it is stacked (looks like 3 or 4 stacked radiators to me), then I have to separate the stacks and get the dirt out from in between them.  Once a quarter?  Is anyone else doing this?  :eek:
 

Tom

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I'm sure not, but then I took the self-cleaning radiator option.
 

Tom

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Press a button and the water and air jets do their thing.
 

Smoky

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I am very very jealous. Grrr.

That said, who here does NOT have auto cleaning radiators.  How big a chore is this for you and do you have to do it quarterly?  Can you do it yourself or does it require a dealer?
 

Ron

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We aren't as lucky as Tom and we didn't pay extra but then we have never had to do it since new.  Having said that is one of the items I have on the list to look at while at Sam's Camp this year.  If needed I will do it if not maybe next year.

I don't know of anybody that does that four times a year.
 

Smoky

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Aye Ron, the 4 times a year is what got me.  Looks like a really big job for me to do by myself, and am not sure I even have the equip for it.  I posted this also on the Newmar DP forum.  Interested to see what kind of response i get there.
 

Smoky

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Aye Ron, I was very surprised to see that sign today because not once have I ever seen any forum discussing it.  And saying it should be done quarterly made it sound like a really key item.

I wonder of some of this might be a CYA thing?
 

Ron

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Smoky said:
Aye Ron, I was very surprised to see that sign today because not once have I ever seen any forum discussing it.? And saying it should be done quarterly made it sound like a really key item.

I wonder of some of this might be a CYA thing?

That may very well be the case.  Let us know if you find anybody that has it done that frequently.
 

blueblood

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Smoky said:
Aye Ron, I was very surprised to see that sign today because not once have I ever seen any forum discussing it.  And saying it should be done quarterly made it sound like a really key item.

I wonder of some of this might be a CYA thing?

I power wash the radiator and CAC frequently. In fact, its on my list to accomplish this week before leaving on a long trip. The build up of dirt can lead to overheating. The worse case is where engine blowby contains minuscule amounts of oil which mixes with road dirt and this compacts on CAC which is first in line. Wait too long and it can require the dismantling of radiator to properly clean. Freightliner dealers charge over $400 to perform the cleaning of this mess. Owners of rear mounted radiators, which are most susceptible to this problem, often spray the radiator with simple green or similar - let it soak and then wash down throughly.


PS The problem was so severe on FCCC chasiss (with ISB's)  in the early 2000 timeframe that they issued a service bulletin and repalced the blowbly tube that went out beyond the radiator so that oil wouldn't be sucked into CAC. Owners were advised to still continue to do the cleaning frequently.
 

Jeff

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Smoky:

I just came from a Freightliner Seminar at the FMCA NW rally that discussed this.

Do you have a rear radiator? Side radiators (like mine) are not as susceptible to oil blow-by. Also most newer chassis have had the oil tube lowered below or behind the radiator to prevent oil and dirt accumulating in the radiator.

But in any case for all radiators Freightliner recommended using Simple Green cleaner. Spray it on and wash it off with LOW pressure water applied from the opposite side of normal air flow (rear of a rear mount radiator?).

By the way, when Tom tells you about his special options think SNIPE HUNT! ;D ;D ;D
 

Tom

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LOL Jeff. You're obviously from Missouri originally. Attached is a photo of the button.
 

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blueblood

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Jeff /Washington said:
Do you have a rear radiator? Side radiators (like mine) are not as susceptible to oil blow-by. Also most newer chassis have had the oil tube lowered below or behind the radiator to prevent oil and dirt accumulating in the radiator.

You can not prevent dirt from entering a rear radiator - the air suction is from under the motorhome at ground level. Oil mist can be prevented as you say as long as the blowly hose is routed beyond the radiator.
 

Tom

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It could be Karl. I'll get a label added to see if that will convince the non-believers.
 

Smoky

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LOL Jeff!  I have been on several snipe hunts so far with Tom.  I plan to discuss this with him as we gather about my reserved 50 amp circuit at QZ next year.

Thanks all for the interesting data.  I got almost no response from other Internet forums other than they don't do it, or at most a few people spray down there radiators once a year.

I think I WILL add this as a quarterly item.  The way you guys explain the green method, it sounds simple to do.  I assume I just open my engine hatch, spray some simple green on the radiator that is facing me, let it soak, then use low pressure water to wash it off.  If I do this simple thing each quarter, maybe then I can forget about steam cleaning, compressed air blowouts, and disassembling the stacked radiators.

I did not know what was going to come from this question but am glad I asked it.  Just need to separate snipes from facts.  ;D
 

Ron

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Tom said:
LOL Jeff. You're obviously from Missouri originally. Attached is a photo of the button.

Should you ever find your starting battery dead on the coach you might try pushing that button in your photo it might just also interconnect you battery systems for starting in case of a dead battery.  Of course this would be in addition to the radiator cleaning feature.
 

Smoky

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I understand if you hold that button down for 5 seconds, in addition to the other benefits, a snipe will pop out saving you the effort of an actual hunt.  :D
 

Ron

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Smoky said:
LOL Jeff!? I have been on several snipe hunts so far with Tom.? I plan to discuss this with him as we gather about my reserved 50 amp circuit at QZ next year.

I know for a fact that Tom has reserved that 50 amp sight for Smoky since I won't have it next year.
 

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